For a lot of us, this could be our first experience with telecommuting. Working from home can bring all kinds of benefits – for you and the environment – but it can also bring distractions and isolation if you don’t take proper care. That’s why we compiled these 5 helpful tips to conquer your work day from home!

1. Set Boundaries between Work and Home Life

The first thing you’ll need to do when prepping for a WFH day is to set up your home “office.” If possible, pick a space where you can avoid distractions like roommates, Netflix, and the pint of ice cream in your freezer that’s just waiting to be eaten. Decorate your desk like you would at your office, but make sure you have all you’ll need for a productive workday such as your computer, a notepad, and any relevant files. If you expect to web conference with colleagues or clients, make sure your workspace surroundings are professional. Establish a clear schedule for yourself so you know when to “punch in” and “punch out.” If you typically take an hour for lunch, schedule that time for yourself so work doesn’t invade your home life, and vice-versa.

2. Check Your Tech

Before starting your workday, it’s important to make sure you have a working set-up. If you’re using a laptop, make sure you have the charger handy and an outlet located. Prepare for your day by double-checking to see that you have any necessary apps, programs, or files you may need to complete your work. Ensure your wi-fi is running smoothly and securely. To avoid any data breaches as you work from home, consider changing your router password and name, or connecting to a VPN. Check out this blogpost for more detailed home cybersecurity tips:

3. Keep Up Your Morning Rituals

Making coffee, showering, and even dressing like you would for the office can help you prepare for the day and stay focused as you work from home. It can be tough to avoid distractions at home – and some will arise – but try fending them off by getting ready as close to as you would for a day at the office. Don’t roll out of bed, open your laptop and expect to just pour into your work. Give yourself time and preparation before checking the morning inbox.

4. Stay Connected to Your Colleagues

To avoid feeling isolated and stay on top of assignments, it’s best to remain in contact with your colleagues, clients, and supervisors. 19 percent of employees who work from home report feeling lonely or isolated, so check in and chat with your coworkers. Set up a virtual water cooler or happy hour, start a groupchat to share pet pics, and socialize with one another to avoid burning out. Schedule a time to talk or webchat at least once or twice a week with your supervisor to outline expectations and make sure you stay on track.

5. To Each Their Own

Finding out which part of the house or what the best work schedule is for you to stay produce (and sane) while telecommuting is crucial. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. So experiment with different spaces, temperatures, lighting, etc. to see what keeps you engaged with your work and meeting deadlines. It can be easy to sit at your home workspace for hours on end, even though you may get up multiple times a day in the office. Perhaps more importantly, try different things at your home “office” to ensure you’re practicing proper self-care while you work.